Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can we tell the difference between Christ and Antichrist? I have heard a lot of theories. What do you think?
Who is Antichrist? In summary, Antichrist is the false messiah who seeks, and likely achieves, world domination so that he can destroy Israel and all followers of Jesus Christ in the last days.
We think of the prefix "anti" and think of one opposed to Christ and we mistakenly identify him with the worst of tyrants. Now the prefix "anti" can mean opposed or against, but it can also mean, "instead of." Instead of Christ.
Antichrist will be a substitute for Christ. He will be as much as like Christ as it is possible for a tool of Satan to be like Christ.
1. Antichrist will be wanted--not rejected.
"I looked, and there in front of me was a white horse (a sign of peace). Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed upon his head; he rode out to conquer in many battles and win the war." (Revelation 6:2)
Christ “came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (John 1:10)
2. Antichrist will be appealing--not repulsive.
“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
Christ “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2)
3. Antichrist will be a gentile, an aryan of “exalted” race--not a Jew.
"And now, in my vision, I saw a strange Creature rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, and ten crowns upon its horns. And written on each head were blasphemous names, each one defying and insulting God." (Revelation 13:1)
He emerges “out of the sea” a reference to Gentile world powers.
Christ came as a Jew as “the lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.” (Revelation 5:5)
Although, some theologians believe he will be Jewish, I do not.
4. Satan will inhabit Antichrist and be the source of his power.
"This Creature looked like a leopard but had bear’s feet and a lion’s mouth! And the Dragon (Satan) gave him his own power and throne and great authority." (Revelation 13:2)
Christ is “in the Father and the Father is in Christ.” (John 17:21)
5. Antichrist survives a mortal wound (a counterfeit resurrection).
"I saw that one of his heads seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! All the world marveled at this miracle and followed the Creature in awe." (Revelation 13:13)
Christ was “resurrected just as He said.” (Matthew 28:6)
6. Antichrist subdues kingdoms by deceit, force, boastful promises, and manipulation.
"His ten horns are ten kings who have not yet risen to power; they will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment, to reign with him. They will all sign a treaty giving their power and strength to him." (Daniel 24-25)
7. Antichrist demands to be worshiped.
"So the first angel left the temple and poured out his flask over the earth, and horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the Creature and was worshiping his statue." (Revelations 16:2)
8. Antichrist will be destroyed and cast into the lake of fire.
"And the Evil Creature was captured, and with him the False Prophet, who could do mighty miracles when the Evil Creature was present—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the Evil Creature’s mark, and who worshiped his statue. Both of them—the Evil Creature and his False Prophet—were thrown alive into the Lake of Fire that burns with sulphur." (Revelation 19:20)
Christ will reign forever as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 5:6-14; 17:14)
Why should we worship the risen Jesus instead of Antichrist, His counterfeit?
Paul gives us the answer.
"Christ is the exact likeness of the unseen God. He existed before God made anything at all, and, in fact, Christ himself is the Creator who made everything in heaven and earth, the things we can see and the things we can’t; the spirit world with its kings and kingdoms, its rulers and authorities; all were made by Christ for his own use and glory. He was before all else began and it is his power that holds everything together. He is the Head of the body made up of his people—that is, his Church—which he began; and he is the Leader of all those who arise from the dead, so that he is first in everything; for God wanted all of himself to be in his Son." (Colossians 1:15-19)
Well, Kevin, I hope this helps. There are many books, studies, and conferences on Antichrist. These are just a few verses to begin your own investigation.
Dr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.
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